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Marillion - Clutching At Straws CD (album) cover





4.14 | 1225 ratings

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3 stars This really isn't a bad album. Really.

The problem is, as many others have speculated, that this is the same band, with Fish as the singer, that released "Script," "Fugazi," and "Misplaced Childhood." That being said, it is difficult to place "Clutching at Straws" in context.

Personally, I love the first five songs of the album. The keyboards, the drums, the guitar interludes, Fish's vocals... all contribute to an undisputedly brilliant sound that tells a terrible story of addiction and the negative effects of such. I feel goosebumps when I hear lines such as "with all good intentions, I would probably run away -- clutching the short straw."

The problem with this album is that is falls apart about halfway through. To be perfectly honest, "White Russian" isn't a good song. It simply isn't. "Chasing the clouds home," yes, is a line full of emotion -- but the whole bit about "uzis on the street corner" -- what the hell is that? It seems apparent to me that this song was very "thrown-together," not very thought out.

From there, the level of disappointment hightens. Perhaps tracks such as "Incommunicado" may have been good in a different context, but with the premise that "White Russian" sets up they simply aren't. "Torch Song" and "Slainte Mhath" attempt to repair the damage these last two tracks have done, but can't quite counter the negative atmosphere already set up. The last two songs provide such little power as to not offer any affect whatsoever on the dynamic therefore given. Try as I might to be open minded about Fish's last effort with Marillion, I simply cannot give this album much credit beyond the first five songs.

If those first five were released in an E.P. just amongst themselves, this might be a different story. But as much of a Marillion fan as I am, I cannot afford this album more than 3 stars.

chorvath | 3/5 |


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